At what age can a child decide not to comply with court ordered visitation?

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At what age can a child decide not to comply with court ordered visitation?

Asked on February 14, 2016 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Technically, a child cannot decide to stop visitation with the non-custodial parent; a court order can only be modified by the court. As a practical matter, however the older the child the more weight their preference is given. If they are a teenager, that is an age when you cannot physically force them to visit. Even if you threatened them with some sort of punishment, it isn't likely to get them to want to go.    In recognition of this, courts have tended to hold the teenagers responsible for their behavior regarding visitation, not the custodial parent. Therefore, a judge is unlikely to find the custodial parent in contempt for failing to comply with a visitation order. Accordingly, this leaves the non-custodial parent largely without a remedy for the order's enforcement of the order. 
At this point, you can consult directly with a an attorney in your area who specializes in child custody cases. They can best advise at to what you can do.


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